Aging in place can be best described as living in your own home as a senior citizen. Statistics indicate that as much as 90% of seniors within America, wish to continue living at home. In general, seniors have been known to prefer aging in place at their homes, as opposed to going to a facility.
Even in cases where a senior citizen experiences physical and cognitive decline, making it difficult to live on their own, they still tend to prefer being able to age in place. While it may be true that aging in place comes with various cons, they are outnumbered by the amount of pros it has to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of aging in place.
Age related cognitive and physical decline can make life difficult for the elderly. At some point, they may need help from family in order to do common tasks. Once they get to this point, independence is not an option. But, with care and consideration from friends, family, and professional care experts, they can regain their sense of independence while aging in place. In a situation like this, senior citizens tend to live a happier life as they have more control over their activities, routine, and life decisions in general.
This heightened sense of independence isn’t possible at a care facility. The staff gains control over their routines and make changes to their lives they may not agree with. Worse yet, many seniors eventually develop a dependence on nursing staff who have to split their time with other patients, unlike family members who give their undivided attention.
Safer, Healthier Environment
In a vast majority of scenarios, senior citizens prefer to age in place as they view it as being healthier and safer. While it may be true that there are excellent facilities out there that provide competent care, numerous lawsuits have demonstrated that some residents end up with worse health outcomes after going to a care facility. In fact, studies have shown that the elderly are at a higher risk of getting a viral and bacterial infection.
When you look at the fact that they essentially intermingle with a vast amount of other patients in addition to experiencing a higher level of stress from losing their independence which weakens their immune system, it comes as no surprise that the elderly get sick more frequently in nursing homes.
Being able to age in place will essentially extend and improve their lives. It also eliminates the risk of getting viral or bacterial infections from other seniors or staff who do not practice good hygiene.
The expenses associated with assisted living facilities and nursing homes are nothing to dismiss. In an assisted living facility, one can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000 for a shared room. Private rooms can cost as much as $75,000 per year. These expenses go up considerably as the level of care they need increases as they get older.
On the flip side, aging in place comes with added expenses, but on a much smaller more maintainable scale. Many seniors who choose to live at home may need various accommodations to make it safer and livable such as to hire an in-home caregiver.
However, despite these expenses, statistics demonstrate that it’s much cheaper than a nursing facility. In fact, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has stated that seniors who age in place, can save several thousands of dollars every month.
Familiarity and Comfort
We all want our loved ones to spend their last moments as happy and comfortable as they can be. As humans, our homes symbolize a place of comfort which offers a sense of security and familiarity. Many seniors will agree that as the years rolled by, they began to focus on the emotional value of their home as opposed to the financial value. This is why many seniors dread the idea of selling their homes.
Having garnered an abundance of memories and experiences in their home, they truly cherish it. While it may be true that some seniors adapt quickly when it comes to care facilities, many seniors will never truly feel happy, comfortable, or safe in a facility. Aging in place will give them a high level of comfort, independence, and happiness that they deserve.